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The basics of web layouts


When you create a Web design, one of the most overlooked points of the design is the layout. Yes, many people think about how to do a layout (which techniques to use), but the principles of Web layout are commonly completely ignored.

The use of space
Use all the space you have, but don't be too strict with it. That means, use relatively sized layout sections on your Web pages, so that they expand and contract to fit the browser window.
Remember about the resolution. As the most computer users have switched from 640x480 sized monitors, keep that in mind when you're designing. Having customers leave because all they can see is a title on their monitor is poor customer service.
Use color to define spaces. If you want to have a page that's a specific dimensions, you should center it on the browser screen and apply a different background color to the rest of the page. This will help the page seam to resize for different browsers; bigger widows will simply have more background color, while smaller windows will contain less or none showing.

The image side
Align your images. The most typical newbie layout mistakes is to put images into a side without considering your layout scheme. If you just use an img tag and then put some text to explain it, you'll have the picture and a line of text to follow at the right of it. Applying the align attribute will help incorporate the images into layout.
Match the images and text on a page. It's really easy to get carried away with all those graphics and animations, but they can turn you page into a very hard to read one. When you're developing your layout, don't forget that images are a major part of the design, not just scrap elements.

Text Width
Think about text width. This is often named the "scan length", and refers to how many words are placed on one line. Most users can easily read around 7 to 11 words in one line. Longer lines make your text hard to read, shorter than that and it's uneven and annoying. When developing your layouts be certain that the main text is displayed in a comfortably readable width.
Centering paragraphs is inadvisable. One of the easiest layout techniques that a new designer gets familiar with is the center tag, and they center everything on their pages. But centering is very hard to do well and it's often hard to read.



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